27th September 1978
Air Branson announced this week the last commercial flight of it's 707 fleet. The airline had at it's peak a fleet in excess of 250 x 707's, however due to tougher than expected trading, the decision was taken to retire the fleet early. Some 70 aircraft were decommissioned in just 7 days with flight schedules being taken over by the larger and more efficient DC10-30s.
CEO Branson expects profits to be hit in the 3rd quarter with a write down of book value of $300m from the release of the 707's. However, the airline is expected to return to profitability in Q4 with increased revenues. With improved economies of scale and larger aircraft the airline expects to cut prices in an effort to fill the capacity.
Branson confidently claimed the airline would be the most profitable and have the highest passenger numbers in the world by the mid 80's.
Time will tell................